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#621047 - 04/20/08 10:02 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
when you start cutting down other technicians for whatever reason, you begin losing my respect.

1. You're flat out wrong Bill. And, this is why.... You need to realize that cutting down a fellow technician as you have done with Braide-White simply isn't right. Do it privately then but not in public.

2. Your way of tuning is not the only way. Nor is mine. Nor is RCT or Tunelab... If Whites way is obsolete then, so be it. The point is, there are other methods. So long as the final outcome is excellent, who cares who uses what method?

Some of us might make mention and we have, of reasons why a tuning might sound better or worse, but not one of us cut down the another technician in order to do so. You did... That's where I am telling you that you're flat out wrong.

Today, we have courses such as Randy Potters course and others. Which way does he teach?

Which way is required to pass the tuning exams to become an RPT?

Since WHEN is it unethical for me to name names, but, it's okay for you do it?????

To even imply that 3 out of 4 tuners are tuning incorrecty as per Bill Bremmer is practically like saying, 99% of all tuners are tuning incorrectly. Everyone, that is, but those that tune using your method. Hmmmmmm.

Being on the tuning exam as you are, I also know the passing scores of many technicians. Many have far surpassed the CTE levels using the ET method. Just as many have failed. That doesn't mean they would have passed had they used your method or passed had they used my method. That means, they didn't have a good enough ear to pass and/or were improperly trained.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#621048 - 04/20/08 10:41 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
BDB Online   content
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Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22477
Loc: Oakland
I wish Mr. Bremmer would explain what exactly he thinks is wrong with the tunings that he does not like, rather than talking about what is wrong with techniques. I would like to know which intervals are wrong, and which direction they are wrong, wide or narrow. Maybe he could even give an indication of how much they are wrong.
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#621049 - 04/20/08 11:51 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3464
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Jerry, for someone who often thinks my writing makes it seem if I am angry, yours certainly does to me. Furthermore, you seem to be angry about something that never happened.

What is Equal Temperament, after all? The two words mean that every interval is tempered equally, each exactly the same as the other. The PTG Tuning Exam Master Tuning is about as close to that ideal model as is humanly possible, it even exceeds what any electronic tuning device or program can do. Yet, it is done by a committee of three over a four or more hour period, typically, under a clinical setting. We all know that it is still imperfect.

So, is a temperament that passes that exam even at 100% still really ET? Its readings won't match the Master Tuning pitch for pitch, even when the pitch correction is factored in. How about one at 95%, far exceeding the requirements to train as an examiner? 90%, 85%, 80%? They all still pass but they all still have errors or imperfections, even the master does.

I have conducted any number of master tunings and will do another at the 2008 convention. My preliminary tuning will have its errors corrected by the committee. In the terms of what you have just written, I have just cut down myself and I have used and will use my own method for tuning ET. In fact, I have not cut down 99% of technicians, I have cut them all down, including myself and all of the master tuning committees there ever were or will be.

The point I make is that I do, in fact, know where certain typical errors come from and why. There are ways to avoid those kinds of errors. There are ways to correct them when they have been made because of the specific approach used which caused them.

If you really read the material I have written, you would know that I don't teach just one specific way to do anything but give a myriad of options. My writings involve concepts rather than rigid declarations. They teach moving from one point to another with assurance in clear, unambiguous language. I also provide suggestions for those who are most comfortable with using a 4ths and 5ths sequence because I do understand that familiarity can be an over riding factor in the choices people make.

The fact is, that no one temperament sequence is perfect, not any of the several that I have come up with over the years nor anyone else's. They all need cross checks and methods of refinement. The ultimate goal is to have as true of a result as one *intends* (the theme of this year's PTG convention) as possible.

So many technicians go for years not being able to improve their work, whatever it may be, tuning, regulation, voicing, rebuilding, refinishing, piano moving, etc., because of lack of knowledge of specific ways to do things better. Teaching only old, obsolete methods which leave out completely the knowledge and finer points which have come to light in the last 30 years or so serves only to cut them all down and keep them down.

No one knows who "tuner #1" or "tuner #2" is. No one knows exactly how each tuning sounded. We can only go by the descriptions offered. I saw two different possibilities in what tuner #2 *may* have done. One would have been intentional, the other a result of very commonly made errors.

I made those same kind of errors myself at one time and it prevented me from becoming the equivalent of an RPT at the time. I sought further education and found revelations not offered and completely unknown to me from the text I had relied upon for my initial education.

I just can't accept that helping people to understand why and how certain errors are so commonly made by so many people amounts to "cutting them all down". Nor do I get any personal gain from it. I don't get any more calls for tunings or anything at all that would actually make me any money. The material I have written is available for free, it isn't even copyrighted. One must pay for just about any other useful information there is today.

What I do make money on is the way I handle the pianos I service for my mostly local clientele. The application of the knowledge and skills I have acquired and accumulated from so many different sources for nearly 40 years now all adds up to a truly marketable product.

Many people have clamored for me to write a book and I probably will some day. But the idea to me seems daunting. I'm afraid of what would be left out that is truly important. I've seen other recent books and shook my head when all that was offered were theoretical beat speeds that no human being could replicate with no clear and unambiguous way to adjust that information to the piano's unique inharmonicity and the size of the temperament octave chosen. They offer precious little more or better information than did Braide-White.

I learned virtually everything of true value that I know through my association with PTG either directly or indirectly. Therefore, I know first hand the value of PTG and the status of RPT. I am committed to promoting both of them so that all piano technicians, PTG members and non-members alike can benefit from the collective influence PTG has had on piano technology in general, particularly in the last 30 years.

Therefore, I maintain that the Braide-White book and its teachings, some of which are still good and valid but others which are not, should be viewed for what it is, obsolete. It had its place and value in its time just as Sigmund Freud's work did in its time. But we know so much more today that Braide-White didn't know and didn't understand, just as with the case of Freud. The time will come when the mention of Braide-White's book will be accompanied by a chuckle, knowing that it did not have all the answers and that it lead so many people down an erroneous path.

It simply doesn't make sense to keep teaching novices methods that don't really work as they are written. Virtually all technicians who initially learned from that book and who now have superior skills use knowledge and skills acquired elsewhere. They do *not* do literally what is taught in that book. Why should anyone start with it, knowing what it will lead to and what a painstaking process it will be to recover from it when there is a much simpler and easier way to approach the initial setting of an equal temperament?
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#621050 - 04/21/08 12:29 AM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22477
Loc: Oakland
That was an awful lot of writing, and it does not say anything that has not been said already.
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#621051 - 04/21/08 01:25 AM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3464
Loc: Madison, WI USA
BDB, your post came in while I was writing my last. The answer is that errors in tempering of 4ths and 5ths can and do go either way, wide or narrow. For example, if one tunes any 4th or 5th, knowing that it must be tempered but not knowing how much or how little in order to compensate for *both* the piano's unique inharmonicity *and* the width of octave chosen (beatless sounding or very slightly widened or even something more unconventional either way), then without an immediate check or confirmation that the amount tempered is correct or incorrect, proceeds to tune another 4th or 5th from that unverifiable pitch, and then another or two, the result may well be that each and every pitch tuned is incorrectly to some degree or another. The result will be uneven Rapidly Beating Intervals (RBI).

"Backing up" through such a chain of imprecision doesn't necessarily correct the errors either. Such an operation may only serve to make certain groups of related intervals compatible but leave that group incompatible with the rest.

Either way, 4ths and 5ths tempered too much or too little or a combination of both lead to uneven M3s and M6s (also m3s, or any of the RBIs). Any kind of sequence that tunes one 4th or 5th after another with no immediate RBI check for each note tuned will lead to compounded and accumulated error in ET.

Therefore, the solution to that problem is to find a way to *not* tune one unverifiable pitch upon another. I have attempted to explain this to the point of exhaustion in the "Marpurg" thread.

One student from Mexico for whom English is clearly a second language seemed to understand this very well. He wrote:

<
And for me again the answer is: No.

That is for me. What about for others?

For example for you. Do you really tune 5ths beating at 5, 4.5, 4, 3.5 BPS, etc.?

Or, instead, you know how it sounds like or how it feels like and then you tune them by experience and feeling?

quote:

"[name], you're right they can't be "counted", the thing is to learn what the proper rate sounds or feels like."

If so, why not to accept that it doesn't work the way it is and tell honestly that you are doing it otherwise?

I think I've understand the concept beyond the facts in [Braide-White]. That is tempered 5ths. Now, you can't get tempered 5ths by counting beats as it says. You have to temper 5ths, yes, but how? How do you cope with [inharmonicity] that affects dramatically the beat rates of 5ths? [Braide-White's] explanations don't answer that, so it doesn't work. No for me, nor for anybody.>>

The student understood well that the information in the Braide-White book didn't provide specifically and unambiguously what is needed to compensate for inharmonicity. But to further complicate the issue, how to compensate for the chosen octave size as well. The two, all important and critical factors are completely unaddressed in the Braide-White book. Read: obsolete and incomplete. Do not read: "cutting down all the tuners who learned from it and use it".

BDB, I respect you as a technician and contributor to this list as I do Jerry. I have seen from both of you honest, helpful information on countless items. So, I ask you both to please accept from me what I have observed for some 20 or more years now about what I have found on the pianos I have been hired to tune.

Some have been other "concert tuners". Others, a dealer prep tuning, others simply the last tuner who was there. They could not have all somehow morphed into the same kind of inequality of temperament which I have so often and consistently observed.

I recall one instance where at the 1998 PTG convention, I set about to do the initial tuning of a Walter grand piano for a presentation I would do later in the week. I observed the same "reverse-well" kind of temperament I had found in so many other places before. I called a very highly respected mentor of mine whose name I will not "drop" here to witness what was on the piano before I began to tune it.

That was 10 years ago. Needless to say, I have found the very same kind of error ever since, more often than not, an estimate of 3 out of 4. I've never made a tally of of all ther reverse-well's I have encountered but at times, I wish I had started one so I could give some hard data. Not all were so particularly bad but a few have been rather blatant as I mentioned in another recent thread. Saying this is not an effort to "cut down other tuners". It is merely an observation of the facts as I see them.

I only wish for technicians to become aware of why and how these errors occur so often and consistently. I've even seen a few cases where the errors occurred more or less in the beneficial direction and created a kind of crude well-temperament.

I recall, for example, a very famous technician of a very famous brand of piano tuning at a PTG convention. He would only speak of ET but to my and a few other's observation, it was clearly not ET but the variation he produced was truly well-tempered, not the reverse of it. He was definitely a 4ths and 5ths tuner. I know that from watching him tune.

In short, you can choose to "believe it or not". I can only offer what I know to be persuasive. You may choose to believe as you wish, that anyone who uses the Braide-White method or anything similar to it, always produces a reasonably good representation of ET or that the majority, as I contend do not. Either way, it is not my intention to "cut down" anyone or to say who does and who doesn't. I only wish for the the truth to be known and understood by everyone.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#621052 - 04/21/08 01:34 AM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3464
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Member # 20363

Rate Member posted April 16, 2008 10:17 AM
It seems a few critical words from a student I quoted were someehow left out of my last post:

For me the question is: Does the [Braide-White] sequence lead to tune a fine tuned temperament?

And for me again the answer is: No.

That is for me. What about for others?
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#621053 - 04/21/08 02:04 AM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22477
Loc: Oakland
Since you cannot say whether a given interval is going to end up wide or narrow, I do not understand how these mistakes can be the result of a particular method of tuning.. If the method is at all useable, then using that method should give the same results all the time. Is your claim that the method works differently from time to time? If it is not, the only other conclusion is that it is not the method, but the implementation.

There are too many of these discussions which seem to fall apart on issues like whether something should be wide or narrow, or beat faster or slower, with some people saying one thing and others saying another, and still others saying, "It depends," which is the worst. As soon as someone says sometimes it is one thing and sometimes it is the opposite, I cannot believe that person knows what he or she is talking about.

One comment about judging other people's tunings: It is very difficult to do. The piano may be ideal when the tuner leaves, but the temperature may change, or a breeze may blow by, and if you are trying to be absolutely accurate, that could make enough of a difference if your tolerances are too close. I am up to my neck in a concert series now, tuning the same piano day after day, and it varies. Whether it varies because the lights have changed, or it has been moved to a different venue, or because the pianist was plucking strings or hitting them with mallets, or because I was on one day and off another, I cannot tell. I would be even harder pressed to judge someone else's tuning. (However, digital pianos are fair game!)
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Semipro Tech

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#621054 - 04/21/08 07:40 AM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Jeanne W Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/04
Posts: 1240
Loc: New England
 Quote:
Originally posted by Bill Bremmer RPT:
One student from Mexico for whom English is clearly a second language seemed to understand this very well. He wrote:

...For example for you. Do you really tune 5ths beating at 5, 4.5, 4, 3.5 BPS, etc.?

Or, instead, you know how it sounds like or how it feels like and then you tune them by experience and feeling?

quote:

"[name], you're right they can't be "counted", the thing is to learn what the proper rate sounds or feels like."

[/b]
Bill:

When you say the thing to do is to learn what the proper rate sounds or feels like - by "sound" are you referring to "pitch" or something else?

I've read that people with perfect pitch claim to be able to tell whether they are hearing, for instance, an "A" note or a "B flat" note by the sound of the note, I think they mean they hear something other than the pitch that is coloring the note. Is that the kind of thing you are referring to when you talk about listening to the "sound or feel"?

Is there any correlation between the method of tuning you are talking about and the method that enables people with perfect pitch to identify the pitch of a single note?

Jeanne W
_________________________
Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
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#621055 - 04/21/08 07:59 AM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
UprightTooner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 839
Loc: North-East US
Jeanne: Bill was quoting someone else that said "[name], you're right they can't be "counted", the thing is to learn what the proper rate sounds or feels like."
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Part-time tuner

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#621056 - 04/21/08 08:13 AM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
UprightTooner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 839
Loc: North-East US
All:

I am suspicious of any argument that makes negative (rather than comparative) comments about one thing in order to prove the value of something else.

Since there is some interest in this subject, there is also an opportunity for something positive to come out of it.

Out of respect to this Topic's subject, I will start a new Topic.
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Part-time tuner

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#621057 - 04/21/08 08:41 AM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Bill says: "Jerry, for someone who often thinks my writing makes it seem if I am angry, yours certainly does to me. Furthermore, you seem to be angry about something that never happened."

Huh? You mean, you never cut down White? You never said his method was wrong? Obsolete? Hmmm. Do you even get my point?

Why do you continue to defend a position that others disagree with Bill? Nobody has disagreed with your method of tuning. I am disagreeing with the cutting down of someone else. Cutting someone down is okay to you? This makes no sense to me.

"I have conducted any number of master tunings and will do another at the 2008 convention. My preliminary tuning will have its errors corrected by the committee."

So what? I see that you're finally admitting that there are more than just your way or my way of tuning pianos. Thank you.

With pianos, nothing can remain a constant. We can tune any piano, at any time, using any tuning method and when we're done, start over because something will have changed. That isn't necessarily because of a bad tuning job, it's the inconsistencies of pianos in general, heat fluctuations, humidity changes, doors opening, closing and much more that also affects the tuning and the piano.

That still has nothing to do with intentionally cutting down Braide White as you have intentionally obviously done. Just re-read your own words. That Bill is what I am taking issue with you about. probably others feel likewise here, but, are not saying so. Tooner already mentioned it once.

Bill says: "If you really read the material I have written, you would know that I don't teach just one specific way to do anything but give a myriad of options."

Thanks for proving my point. What took you so long? From what I was reading before, it certainly appeared to me that you were endorsing your method not more than one method.

You want me to accept something that I've been saying all along. No way of tuning is "the only way." There are many. It appears to me that it took you this long to finally say it and then, you make it appear as if it were your idea to being with.

Am I angry? Yea, I am slightly angry. Arrogance annoys me. That is one of the reasons so many people are not drawn to the PTG.

I must go to work now or I will be late. Be back later..
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#621058 - 04/21/08 10:41 AM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4263
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Mr. Bremmer,

Quote:

“My personal observation has been that about 3 in 4 aural tuners who use a 4ths and 5ths type sequence end up with the same kind of error in temperament, one that is a result of accumulating and compounding the effects of tuning one 4th or 5th after another without any way to correct oneself at each step along the way.”

Comment:

This is not the fault of Braid White. This is the fault of the tuner not correctly doing his job and then either being ignorant of this fact or just plain too lazy to learn otherwise.

Quote:

“The instructions in Braide-White's book do not adequately explain how to correct accumulated error nor do they tell anything at all about how to take the theoretical values which are provided and alter them to accommodate the piano's actual inharmonicity nor for the size of octave that is chosen."

Comment:

In the chart on page 88 of Braid Whites book there are plenty of checks and test all along the way to setting ET….. if the checks do not match you are off plain and simple. Go back and start again or better still work backwards back to the mistake. This is math ok? You will find it with a little effort.

Quote:

“Until then, I stand firmly behind what I said here and have been saying for over 20 years: The Braide-White book is obsolete, incomplete, misleading and inaccurate."

And then later this statement:

Quote:

“My writings involve concepts rather than rigid declarations.”

Bill no disrespect or anything but are you actually reviewing the stuff that you are posting here?

Quote:

“What is Equal Temperament, after all? The two words mean that every interval is tempered equally, each exactly the same as the other.”

Comment:

This is an incorrect interpretation of Equal Temperament. The 4ths and 5ths of Braid Whites temperament are not tempered equally, they are all different. Equal temperament means that at the end of this task performed the F-F octave is pure. If it is not you are off and didn’t do a correct job. So start again or work backwards till you find the error. This is math for goodness sake. Whether you start with 9 and 3 or 6 and 6 or 8 and 4 it will still add up to 12. Ah yes but the temperament octave is 13 different frequencies, inclusive of the top F. So to divide 2 into 13 well this is 3.1416……………..

So if you are making the 4ths and 5ths the same you will ALWAYS be incorrect in the result.

The problem here is not the math, nor is it where you start or finish, the mathematics are just calculations on a page. It is the instrument that is the problem. There is incorrect math inside the plate scale mathematics, not enough accounted for in the cooling processes or the drawing was off, or the design is imperfect….. This instrument is made by humans how can you say the instrument is not the problem it is the mathematical equation.

This is fallacy ok?

I have a set of tuning forks from England one for each key of the temperament. Even if you set each note of the temperament with the fork beat less it still is not ET. Why is this so? Because the forks are made by humans and are not perfect. There will always be some adjustment either way.

Lots of tuners make a mistake in setting the temperament, getting something sharp instead of flat… I still make this error now and then, whatever the reason might be. It is very easy to set a string on the wrong side for a minute. Doing a temperament takes what about 3 to 6 minutes? If there is a mistake I usually have it corrected at the 10 minute mark.

It is very easy to count beats in a time count. I still have an old watch with a smooth second hand and still can count beats in 5 seconds, can even split the beats….. So many in a 5 second count if you like. This is easily demonstrated and easily taught, of course to the folks that have the ability to hear the same things. But the instructor has to make sure that the information is getting through, because the math does not lie and if not taught correctly the mathematical equation will be incorrect. This again does not make the math wrong just the instructor or the way the student is able to learn the material.

Dr. Braid White was an Mus.D. He was also a member of the Acoustical Society of America.

Further he was a member or the Institution of Musical Instrument Technology (London)

Further to that he was the Principal of the School of Pianoforte Technology, Chicago.

When the good folks here accomplish these type of designations maybe their arguments will hold more water.

Oh and Bill? I can completely understand why you are of the opinion that writing a book is a daunting task. How do you write a book and not worry about the fact that maybe some people will label your accomplishments obsolete and immaterial and outdated? This of course will happen to all who write a book, you included.

This is what you have just done to Dr Braid White.

The copy of his book I have has been revised.

Perhaps this will happen again if this book does go into print again.

Work now too I am late……
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#621059 - 04/21/08 11:01 AM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
UprightTooner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 839
Loc: North-East US
Dan:

Please let me add some "tempering" to your comments in a polite way before someone does so impolitely.

I think the pianos that Braid White worked on when he wrote his book were not as challenging as many that we tune now. I find that the beat rates in his book work well on old uprights. They do not work as well on many newer smaller pianos. I believe that this is due to the change of iH between different notes in the scale, more than a high iH in the total scale.

Regardless of iH, I believe the sequence in Braids White book will result in a good ET if the concept of all intervals beating progressively faster is followed.
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Part-time tuner

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#621060 - 04/21/08 12:19 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4263
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Hey Jeff,

My father drew what are called contractual drawings for plate scales. I remember him saying time and time again that once you go below 6ft. in the scale drawing the mathematical error of scale starts to creep in. When you get down to a small upright there is so much error in the plate design that the mathematics of musical scale will be way off.

For myself in the early 80’s I started to notice that the entry level instruments from Asia…. Well ET just does not work out completely as you think it should. This is not the fault of the math that Braid White developed. This is the error in the factory casting the plate scale.

Example: last week I struggled with a small Lesage upright. I did the temperament 4 times over 20 minutes. Still did not work. So am I to blame Braid White? As you say quite correctly this is the fault of the smaller scale design. This is not to blame Braid White for this failure. The pianos he worked on where better built than the crap today. I can tell you with a degree of certainty that any piano under 30K is “mass produced” “off the rack” “tailor made” for the common folk. This is not to sound snobby or elitist. We all need affordable equipment to play and enjoy and to tune and work on. To get an instrument like the uprights of Braid Whites day well that quality upright would start at 20K.

Grand’s of his day today would be 50K and up. So I agree with you but maybe for a differing reason. The stuff today is not made with the same quality of materials or the same quality of worker. This is fact. This is what makes today’s instruments a tuning challenge.

Hey people can call me an idiot or be impolite whatever they want. I am not offended in any way. I find in today’s life if you are personally attacked it is onlybecause there is no fault found with the message. So attacking the messenger is the only alternative. No surprise there.

I like your comment about the tempering…… very dry there Jeff……good one…..

The best test for ET is the tenth test. Up and down the scale consecutively tenths all the way up and down.

cheers....
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#621061 - 04/21/08 12:23 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4263
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Yes the concept of faster beating intervals is the correct way to success but again this will differ in speed with each instrument and its particular scale.

I think this is what my father meant when he said “Dan when you tune every piano will have its own feel to it.”

No two are the same ever. Pianos I mean.
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#621062 - 04/21/08 12:30 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
UprightTooner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 839
Loc: North-East US
Dan:

I like to try to keep thing civil so that what people are saying comes through, instead of how they are saying it. That's why I wanted to "head things off at the pass."

The last time I tried to talk about the compromises necessary to tune a challenging piano, it turned into a train wreck. Little good came out of it. I don't intend to try it again...
_________________________
Part-time tuner

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#621063 - 04/21/08 12:47 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Roy123 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1730
Loc: Massachusetts
I'm not a tuner, so take what I say with that understanding. I only want to make the point that I think some here are being a bit harsh with Bill Bremmer. To suggest that it is wrong to criticize some old book is sophistic. If one assumes that knowledge in a particular field continues to advance, then it is only natural that older knowledge will be incomplete and/or incorrect to some extent. If we can't explain the shortcomings in some older methods, then how can we explain why newer methods are better--philosophically, the notion of better can only exist in comparison to something that is worse.

Actually, I think Bill has been remarkably kind and patient in his explanations. I always enjoy reading his detailed posts for the thoughtfulness that goes into his writing.

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#621064 - 04/21/08 01:10 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4263
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Hey Jeff,

I am not angry or PO’d or anything like that. This is work and I don’t work to get angry. I just work. For me there is no emotion. The bottom line here is why is this type of method still used today? Why are you and I and many many others still using this mathematics almost one hundred years later? Could it be that this is still relevant?

I am not trying to tear down Mr. Bremmer. This is my clear position. Take the source of the information, a Doctorate in Music…… Braid White.
Now take the comments made by Mr. Bremmer. The comments made by Mr. Bremmer would be far more relevant and hold much more water for folks here if he had the very same accomplishments in life. So consider the source. This is not being uncivil.

Now if someone with the very same accomplishments as Braid White decided to chime in I may have a differing point of view on their reasoning’s as long as it was not a blanket statement of the type stated here in postings.

Roy123
I don’t think anyone would quarrel with whether or not Mr. Bremmer is kind and patient or detailed.

For myself there is no old, or new, or better, or worse,…. Just different…………………
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#621065 - 04/21/08 01:27 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
UprightTooner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 839
Loc: North-East US
Roy123:

You used a word I did not know. I looked it up and found a use for it. Bill Bremmer's criticism of Braid White's book is sophistic. Thank You!
_________________________
Part-time tuner

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#621066 - 04/21/08 01:51 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3464
Loc: Madison, WI USA
"This is fallacy ok?

I have a set of tuning forks from England one for each key of the temperament. Even if you set each note of the temperament with the fork beat less it still is not ET. Why is this so? Because the forks are made by humans and are not perfect. There will always be some adjustment either way."

At the risk of "cutting you down impolitely", can you point to any instructions at all, even any hints that the very best tuners may pick up on, written in Braide-White's book that tell you exactly what to do to convert the *theoretical* beat rates he provides into the actual rates needed to compensate for both the piano's unique inharmonicity and the size of octave chosen?

In your comment about the tuning forks, it seems to show that you must have never heard from anyone such as in a PTG Journal article or a class at a regional seminar or annual convention why using such a set of forks will *never* work. It would never work even if all of the forks tested out perfectly. It won't work for the same reason using a strobe tuner won't work.

Dan, all instructional books become obsolete sooner or later and so would mine, so that is not what concerns me. Braide-White's book became obsolete about 30 years after its last revision in 1946 and about 5 years before its 28th printing in 1980 which is the edition I have. Around that time, new, more enlightened information became available from a Harvard PhD scientist, Dr. Al Sanderson. The practice of using a 4ths and 5ths temperament sequence was discontinued in favor of one which did adequately compensate for both inharmonicity and octave size (width).

"It is very easy to count beats in a time count. I still have an old watch ...(snip) This is easily demonstrated and easily taught... the instructor has to make sure that the information is getting through, because the math does not lie and if not taught correctly the mathematical equation will be incorrect. This again does not make the math wrong just the instructor or the way the student is able to learn the material."

I am sorry but I disagree completely. This is an obsolete way of teaching tuning. It doesn't really work for the same reasons the 12 tuning forks or a strobe tuner wouldn't really work. The math is in fact, incorrect because it is only theoretical and is never exactly what it should be for any piano.

When I teach students, I tell them *not* to count beats but compare them. Counting beats to any theoretical rate will produce an error from the very beginning and will inevitably be compounded. When the point is reached where the accumulated error is discovered, all that has been so precisely counted must then be changed.

Again, I am sorry to disagree with your opinion of the value of Braide-White's book. None of the credentials you cited change the fact that the material in it is obsolete, inaccurate and incomplete. If anyone revises that book, they will be taking out whole sections and adding new material which was unknown to Braide-White.

"I think the pianos that Braid White worked on when he wrote his book were not as challenging as many that we tune now. I find that the beat rates in his book work well on old uprights."

I can imagine how this would seem to be the case but it is still not really so. If you used a strobe tuner on one of those larger scales with relatively low inharmonicity, it could also seem to produce satisfactory but not ideal results, at least within the F3-F4 octave.

"They do not work as well on many newer smaller pianos. I believe that this is due to the change of iH between different notes in the scale, more than a high iH in the total scale."

That is the very reason why using an obsolete method which does not contain key information about how to compensate for scaling irregularities will not work.

"Equal temperament means that at the end of this task performed the F-F octave is pure. If it is not you are off and didn’t do a correct job. So start again or work backwards till you find the error. This is math for goodness sake."

This is the first time I have ever read this as a description of ET. To me, it does not look like math but a sure-fire recipe for Reverse-Well. It is a typical description of how that kind of error is made. I've often noticed that the strongest defenders of 4ths and 5ths type tuning sequences and what they believe to be ET are the very people who consistently tune Reverse Well instead. They refuse, of course, to acknowledge that fact.

One way to prove to yourself that your temperaments really do conform to today's standards would be to join PTG, take the written exam and the tuning exam. While I expect that you would pass the written exam, you may find that some of the questions you answer about tuning are marked as incorrect. I have seen in what you have written that you do not have a complete understanding of all tuning concepts which are quite widely known today by nearly anyone who is an RPT.

If you take the tuning exam, you have the right to witness a master tuning in advance. You will see that the committee does not approach the task as Braide-White would have. If you approach the tuning of Part 1 of the exam (the temperament and midrange) by using your watch to count beats and then "back up" through it as you described to try to correct what you believe to be errors, you will be very fortunate to pass that part of the exam with a minimum score of 80.

The exam committee will aurally verify any errors and may use some of the techniques found in Braide-White's book but will also rely primarily on techniques which are not found there and which were unknown to Braide-White nor anyone else in his time.

Dan and Upright, what is your opinion about the differences between tuner #1 and #2's tuning with regards to the descriptions provided? What could tuner #2 have done that made the tuning sound good in certain ways but ultimately be found unacceptable? What was it about tuner #1's work that made it preferable to #2's? Assuming that #2 always tuned the same way which seemed to be the case, what kinds of differences in his work are there and what may be the source and the reason behind them?

I've stated what my opinion is which is the subject of this thread. I stand firm in my opinion about the two possibilities I cited. I also stand firm in my opinion that Braide-White's book is obsolete. That does not amount to an impolite or arrogant "cut down" of him or anyone who studied his book. I studied his book. I used the method. But I later learned more information and acquired more advanced skills. If Braide-White were still living today, I have no doubt that he would revise the book again and put new information in it that was unknown to him a century ago.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#621067 - 04/21/08 02:05 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
UprightTooner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 839
Loc: North-East US
Bill:

All we know about Tuner #1 and Tuner #2 is that the customer preferred one tuning over another, because they preferred a piano that sounded less bright. Another customer might prefer the brighter sounding tuning. Reading anything else into the post is mere conjecture.
_________________________
Part-time tuner

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#621068 - 04/21/08 02:27 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3464
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Thank you very much, Roy.

Sophistry - a deliberately invalid argument displaying ingenuity in reasoning in the hope of deceiving someone.

What would be the point in my doing that?

I've compared the writings in other old tuning books as well and pointed out what was valid and invalid. What would be the motive for going to all that trouble just to try to deceive people? What purpose of mine would that serve?

I've also criticized a more recent book, the one called "Temperament". I would characterize it is being nothing but sophistry in the way it mixes good writing and research with unbelievably fallacious conclusions. It seems to have the motive of providing a reason to believe what many people's notions already are and finds a way to serve them very well. It's called giving the reader a reason to "swallow it hook, line and sinker". A great number of people did but I simply knew better than what was written there and never took the bait.

Dan, a PhD in music does not necessarily imply credentials in tuning theory. Even if what Braide-White did to earn that credential was to study and develop tuning theory, it does not change the fact that more recent knowledge has come to light since then which unfortunately makes those studies obsolete and invalid in the present.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#621069 - 04/21/08 09:20 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Piano Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/01/03
Posts: 402
Loc: Southern Ontario,Canada
Certainly I don"t have the level of expertise to join this conversation, or argue with anyone about the logistics. But I do observe all contributors appear to have enough knowlegede and experiance to write thier own books. Very good info all around. Plenty of material for anyone learning this profession, who can then create his/her own way to excellence.
As far as credetials, just reading Mr. Bremmers topics is credential enough. It would be my suggestion if you review all Mr. Bremmer has contributed..IT IS A BOOK ALREADY. I think all contributors are very generous with their time and thoughts. In fact mr. Bremmer has taken time to PM offering any help he can give in my pursuit of tuning excellence. A BIG HATS OFF TO ALL !!!
_________________________
Richard, the"Piano Guy"
Piano Moving Tuning & Repair
From London ON to Fort Erie ON

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#621070 - 04/22/08 09:39 AM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4263
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Mr. Bremmer
I would like to thank you for your judgment. Mr. Bremmer, perhaps when the day comes that you learn to stop judging yourself, you will learn to not judge others.

Apparently I have just taken an exam, unknown to me of course, and have come out with a score of 80 out of 100. This is presumption that is now just getting a bit rich. You are displaying a personal bias; a pre-conceived notion of whom and what I am, and have already judged my unseen work.

Whether I receive censor or approval from the PTG will not change the way I work or live.

I shall not respond in kind. To do so would lend certain legitimacy to your judgments’ of me.
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#621071 - 04/22/08 10:45 AM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Anne Francis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 548
Loc: Toronto, ON
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jerry Groot RPT:

Today, we have courses such as Randy Potters course and others. Which way does he teach?

[/b]
Actually, Jerry, Potter teaches the contiguous 3rds method of temperament setting, as espoused by Jim Coleman. He cites the risk of accumulated errors as one of the reasons he does not teach Braide-White.
_________________________
Anne Francis
PTG Associate Member

Check out my blog! www.annefrancis.ca/blog

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#621072 - 04/22/08 01:05 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Hey Ann!

I was hoping someone would answer that. At least we should all be in agreement then, that there are certainly more ways than one to tune a piano. This has been the case for eons. Since I started tuning 40 years ago. Now we have Bills way, your way, my way, Ron's way, RCT way & the aural way all at once if we want, and whoever else is out there.

I'm of the opinion that so long as the tuning sounds great, that is what's most important of all. What method we choose to accomplish this is well, who cares? So long as it sounds good...

I hate to disagree with you again Bill but, I have to agree with Dan on this one too. I thought Dan was to harshly judged. Without even hearing a persons tuning, it's not fair to presume that one might barely pass because he uses a different method from what you or I might choose to use.

I've watched some really screwy methods of tuning from time to time thinking the whole time HUH? What are they doing? But, when they were finished, it sounded great! So, we really never know for sure unless we are there to listen to it.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#621073 - 04/22/08 02:15 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4263
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Jerry,
Thanks for sticking up for me, I appreciate it but it really is not necessary. I have stood into the wind and been judged all my life and will do so again.

Perhaps I could just leave you with this parting thought.

Can the PTG really afford to have this particular attitude displayed here from an Examiner on his way to the 2008 PTG convention?
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#621074 - 04/22/08 04:37 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3464
Loc: Madison, WI USA
The point I was making is that to teach someone today that 4ths and 5ths sequence where, at the end, if it doesn't work, you back up through it to find the "error" would be to teach someone a method that doesn't really work. There wouldn't be just one single error.

That is the way Dan phrased it. Now, of course, I know that Dan is a very capable technician of many years experience and that he has his own way of interpreting the Braide-White method and it works for him.

There are countless novices and a good portion of PTG Associates who have learned to tune with an ETD who could be RPTs if they could only learn to tune the midrange aurally. Teaching them the above description is almost a certain way to produce results that do not pass that exam. Having tried it and failed, they will easily give up trying and remain ETD dependant and be among those clamoring for PTG to eliminate the aural tuning requirement.

A couple of years ago, I read that Anne had been taught the Braide-White method at a PTG convention. I was quite concerned about that. My comments reached the person who had been the instructor, whose name I do not recall, it was someone I don't know. Of course, there was the same indignation about it as has been expressed here. It was defended as the "classic" approach. When I pointed out the pitfalls of it, I only received angry and defensive remarks, the kind which didn't respond to the points I made but attacked me personally.

So, I'm used to that and expect it actually. It doesn't change my mind at all. Any of the students I teach are told about the problem of compound and cumulative errors that result from tuning consecutive 4ths and 5ths which have no good way to verify progress until too many errors may have been made for a novice to be able to sort out.

Indeed, it takes a great deal of skill and experience to be able to use the Braide-White method and accomplish a superior level temperament. There are other ways to accomplish the goal of temperament construction that are far more easily learned and understood by novices. A great many have learned to do it quickly and produce outstanding results because they have learned a method and followed a sequence which actually works the way it is described and taught.

There are many variations of the more modern ways to construct a temperament. I learned them from other people in PTG, I didn't invent anything. Nor have I judged anyone or cut anyone down. About 9 of 10 people I have examined have passed with all scores above 90. Of the very few who failed on the first attempt, it was obvious that they had not practiced enough aural tuning and they admitted that themselves, voluntarily but were never told it.

In the past couple of years, one as recently as March, there have been students who failed the first time but upon another attempt, passed successfully after studying not only the material I presented but that of others, particularly the PTG PACE program which is a composite of several PTG RPTs. None of the material they studied, from Randy Potter, the PACE program, the Baldassin-Sanderson method, The Chicago School of Piano Technology, the North Bennett Street School or any other material offered by PTG uses the Braide-White system.

Why and how that one instructor was selected to teach, I do not know but I remain steadfastly against using it. In 17 years of tuning exams in which I was involved, not one person who used the Braide-White method ever passed. On the other hand, those who knew how to build a framework of Contiguous M3s often scored highly enough to qualify as examiner trainees.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#621075 - 04/22/08 09:23 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
Well, I've been watching this thread; have written a little, though I am not really sure how much it contributed to the discussion.

But I have to say this. In the final analysis, Braid White put forth his calculations and methods a long time ago. I think everyone who learned his method, who went on to become a seasoned, and competent tech, refined his method.
Does that make them invalid. I personally dont think so. Tuning, like music is built upon past theories; much as scientific study is. The current methods are built upon the foundation of what was done in the past. The future will be built upon the foundation of the present.

To say, one method is superior to another is nonsense, and smacks of old fashioned ignorance.
Everyone who wants to properly tune a piano is always striving. Striving to perfect what we know, and striving to learn something new. On a personal note, that is why I joined the Guild, not to tack RPT onto my name so much, as to learn and refine what I have already learned, and to learn some new things about tuning, this marvelous imperfect instrument that we call the piano forte.
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#621076 - 04/22/08 11:45 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Yeah, you're right Ron. We build upon what is learned. I was thinking after this discussion began, day dreaming actually, I'm really good at that! I was wondering in the next 40, 50 or 60 years, what the EDT's will be capable of by then? What new tuning programs might be around to make everything else obsolete? You know? Like Don's self tuning machine. Who might perfect that by then if he doesn't?

While I will still occasionally (not very often more for fun now) use the ET; usually in conjunction with other methods that I have learned and experimented with over the years, when I took my exam I used the old fashioned ET only because, that was what I was taught and I easily passed on my first try. The point of saying that is this.... So much of tuning, is in what we are taught and how we are taught to do things properly. Where to start, what checks to use, and in particular, how well our ears can hear.

With today's technology, EDT's and all, it's much more fun and much more interesting to play with these new toys to see how much more perfect and easy we can make things for ourselves. Especially with the help of people like Ron Tuner and his advice given for RCT users like myself and others who know a lot about these things.

Ron Alexander, you sent me your method of setting the temperament. It looks very intriguing!!! As soon as I have some time, I'm going to try it! Thank you for sending that!!

One never knows what's just around the corner.

That reminds me of this: As a car is passing some people, they holler "THE END IS NEAR!" The people in the car look at them, think they're nuts and ignore it continuing on. They fly around the corner and then, they hear them braking hard tires squealing and then CRASH BOOM BANG! That fast, everyone in the car is dead. The people said, "do you suppose we should have told them that the bridge was out instead?"

So, what is just around the corner for you guys and gals? A new learning curve? When we allow ourselves to stop learning and stop listening, we might as well curl up into a ball and stop tuning too.

My reason for joining this forum, is to disagree with Bill. I'm KIDDING BILL!! I joined it to learn as much as possible and with all of the input going on in here, we can't help but learn something...
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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